Catriona's Credit Card Countdown

edited 15 March 2013 at 9:41PM in Debt Free Diaries
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  • edited 11 May 2013 at 10:42AM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    edited 11 May 2013 at 10:42AM
    So glad I saw this! so Im thinking of moving in with my OH. I have my own flat but rented it out and will move into his flat in a couple of months.

    How did you have your discussion with your BF. Are you going to have a rental agreement just incase? or are you just going to let him move in?

    Hi Starslimmer - lovely to see you again :j:j:j

    No, I'm not going to get him to sign a rental contract or do the usual, deposit etc. I have made a joke about him signing a contract and he was very serious saying he won't be signing a contract and so I gauge he's not too keen on that!!;) Which is fine. All that would do is oblige him to pay me rent for a set minimum time. I don't need him to do that; if our relationship does not last, then I wouldn't expect him to keep paying or living with me. In fact I'd probably want him to move out rather sooner than later!

    But, I am going to have a conversation with him about signing a Living Together agreement . Have a look at the link.

    I have a vague idea about how to approach this subject. I may have to persevere with this (I know his personality by now and "if at first I don't succeed, I'll try and try again";) ), that's why I am going to mention it this weekend for the first time. I'm fully aware that he may feel strange when I ask him to sign it, but apart from the obvious protection (which I need, in light of his remark!) it is actually great for thinking through your finances when living together.
    I think as you enter this stage of life you have certain expectations based on your parents' relationship or your earlier relationships and how money was shared and managed. I think you assume that's how it's going to be, when the other person's position may be different on it. So it will be good to sit down and talk this through.

    You say you're going to move in with bf for a couple of months. Is that only a temporary arrangement? What is in the pipeline for later?
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    I started off by recording all my spending for 2 months. I then designed a realistic budget that I could stick to. I then direct debted all bills out of my account a day after payday a so I ONLY have my Food, Entertainment, Clothes money left. My overdraft is really low so I dont have a lot of space to over spend.

    It took me a while to stick to it especially when I didnt save up for one off occasions.

    Thanks for that StarSlimmer. I'm trying to work it out so I can do the same thing. Following your example, I've now worked out my total bills and CC payments and deducted those from my income. Then set myself a budget for entertainment and clothes and food and then worked out how much I should transfer to savings.
    My DDs are already, wherever possible set to go out on 1st of each month (though some CCs won't commit to one single day) so, when I get paid next, I shall do that same thing and only leave in my acc what is necessary to get through the month. That way I will be able to see it decrease and if I.e. I overspend on going out, then there will be no money for clothes etc. fingers crossed I can stick to it!

    I have also vowed to stop using CCs in the month, as that was always an unexpectedly high bill! I have been good and not used it since March.
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Hi Catriona,
    It is brilliant at just how much impact you've had on that debt in just a few short months. :T Keeping up the momentum is whats really important now.

    Sticking to the paying-back plan is difficult on a day to day basis, especially when Sales are happening - which feels like ALL the time! :eek:

    I split my money up a combination of virtually - i.e I consult with my spreadsheet most days, and also have an app on my phone to check my bank balance before spending and also physically - I have three accounts; a joint account with OH for all our living costs, a pocket money account and an "other" account for paying car costs, any birthday presents, etc - all planned of course.
    Each account has its own little worksheet on my spreadsheet.

    My pocket money account is my favourite as its for clothes, nights out, treats, lunches but once its gone - its gone. Sometimes (hardly ever!) I have some left over and carry it over into the next month. Happy days!

    Just to add to another perspective on sharing finances with your partner; we contribute a % of our salary into the joint account. I currently earn more than him so I pay a higher proportion into the JA. But as his career develops over the next few years he will pay the bigger share as he's on target for earning more than me.
    I have friends who pay 50:50 and she continued to pay 50:50 even on maternity leave - so had to subsidise their living costs with her savings. I wouldn't be ok with that, but each to their own.

    I'm sure talking it through with him, you'll work out whatever works for you and your partner but perhaps think about how it will work both in the short and long term.

    Friday feeling approaching - have a good weekend.

    :j:j:j Hi Maybe It's Because!!! :j:j:j

    Lovely to see you here. Ill bet you hardly ever venture to this side of the forum, being debt free?
    Thanks for the kind words, I'm trying my best to see the back of this debt ASAP.

    I can be a very all or nothing kind of person, so that's what I need to watch out for. I think going at it steadily, with treats and not too strict a regime is the only long haul strategy for me.

    You are absolutely right about sales being on all the time:eek::rotfl: i need to stop spending ;)

    Re budgeting - aaah, I might copy you. My bf has mentioned that he'd prefer us to get a joint acc for our living costs, that is food mainly, as I will be paying the bills. So that will be the food taken care of.

    I though I'd throw into that the going out money too. This is because my bf has a larger disposable income (because he has no debt, but also because he spends pretty much all he has coming in) and he can put pressure on us to go out a lot. He would happily go for a drink each night after work and go out for a really nice meal once a week, where he would have all the drink he wants as well... My budget couldn't take it (I have got further into debt in the time I have been with him, and it can't carry on - I've got to be stronger), and so the best way for me to tackle the situation, I feel would be to set a limit to it by sticking £150 for food and £150 for going out in that acc, and then, when it's gone it's gone. Tell it him upfront, and explain the reasons and get him to understand and agree. If he then puts a similar amount in there, then that will have to last. What do you think?

    Can I be nosey and ask how big is your treats amount per month? I have budgeted £150 for food and drinks out with partner and £200 for clothes, haircuts, products, lunches, books etc.

    I have to say that I have never, ever had an account for birthdays and car stuff and that I am going to start one soon, too.

    Thanks for all the good advice and please come again ;)

    Good luck with your quest - i have subscribed to your diary and will be popping over to see how you're doing
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • clippy_girlclippy_girl Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    ✭✭✭✭
    morning catriona :)

    i also have budgets for everything and find that helps! i have split up my 'fun' spending as well as was too hard to keep track of it in one lump! so each month i transfer £50 to a weekend away fund, £25 for my hair (done every two months at £50), budget for my bikini wax and then have £40 per week to spend on whatever. if i dont do much in the week then i roll the money over and can use it to buy clothes, make up etc... i started the weekend away budget as i found i always needed to pay for trains and hotels months before i went and i didnt always have enough rolled over to cover it. i try and only use it for things like train, hotel, petrol if i go far and try and save my spending money from rolled over weekend spends. i have only been doing it since jan but it is working very well :)

    i also did a rough budget for how much i spend per person at xmas and for bdays, mothers day etc... i divided it by 12 and then transfer it into separate accounts. i added an extra £5 per month to the general presents to cover unbudgeted gifts like babies, weddings etc...

    also pay my water and council tax over 12 months so that each money i have the same available. is nice over xmas when everyone spends all of dec pay on xmas presents and i still have mine! :rotfl:

    i deffo think the key is to have a realistic budget with set amounts for treats so that you can still have fun without consantly feeling guilty but with a set amount you cant go mad!
    :j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j:j
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts

    Just to add to another perspective on sharing finances with your partner; we contribute a % of our salary into the joint account. I currently earn more than him so I pay a higher proportion into the JA. But as his career develops over the next few years he will pay the bigger share as he's on target for earning more than me.
    I have friends who pay 50:50 and she continued to pay 50:50 even on maternity leave - so had to subsidise their living costs with her savings. I wouldn't be ok with that, but each to their own.

    I'm sure talking it through with him, you'll work out whatever works for you and your partner but perhaps think about how it will work both in the short and long term.

    Friday feeling approaching - have a good weekend.

    Ouch the friend on MAT who was expected to still pay a half... That wouldn't make me feel great either.

    You too have a great weekend!:)
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • edited 11 May 2013 at 4:22PM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    edited 11 May 2013 at 4:22PM
    morning catriona :)

    i also have budgets for everything and find that helps! i have split up my 'fun' spending as well as was too hard to keep track of it in one lump! so each month i transfer £50 to a weekend away fund, £25 for my hair (done every two months at £50), budget for my bikini wax and then have £40 per week to spend on whatever. if i dont do much in the week then i roll the money over and can use it to buy clothes, make up etc... i started the weekend away budget as i found i always needed to pay for trains and hotels months before i went and i didnt always have enough rolled over to cover it. i try and only use it for things like train, hotel, petrol if i go far and try and save my spending money from rolled over weekend spends. i have only been doing it since jan but it is working very well :)

    i also did a rough budget for how much i spend per person at xmas and for bdays, mothers day etc... i divided it by 12 and then transfer it into separate accounts. i added an extra £5 per month to the general presents to cover unbudgeted gifts like babies, weddings etc...

    also pay my water and council tax over 12 months so that each money i have the same available. is nice over xmas when everyone spends all of dec pay on xmas presents and i still have mine! :rotfl:

    i deffo think the key is to have a realistic budget with set amounts for treats so that you can still have fun without consantly feeling guilty but with a set amount you cant go mad!

    :j:j:j hello Clippy ! :j:j:j

    I do like the way you budget. I especially like the weekend away budget. I have realised now that what I have been missing is a separate budgeted amount for stuff like that. Usually what happens is that I will carry on ok until an unplanned event, then will have to fork out on it, and blow my budget. That makes me feel low and like I've failed and my motivation takes a dip.

    Ooh I'm going to have to set up a separate account and budget.

    I've tried the method when're you sweep your account at the end of the month but that hasn't worked that well for me. I think I need to have it all planned and put some restrictions on the money spending... Ooh I do like a challenge so I should enjoy this adventure!

    It's so cold, and it's May. I'm NOT putting the heating on! Going to get a hot drink now and work on the s/sheet:)
    Hope you're having a lovely day
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • dktreeseadktreesea Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    Hi Catriona,

    I understand about the heating. I have had those moments over the winter, piling on the clothes instead of turning on heaters. But depriving yourself too much - warmth is a basis necessity, after all - in the name of the "pay off the debts as quickly as poosible" race, can be depressing.

    I started this year off well, but am now £700 in the whole more than at the beginning of the year. Just necessary bills I hadn't budgeted for, so not splurging as such, but it really got me down at the time.

    So now I pay myself first, generously, ahead of any of the debts.

    Plus I feed the emergency fund. I had been setting aside £20 a month for this, but have upped it to £50 a month. Even though it makes more financial sense to feed the credit cards and overdraft instead, I'd rather have spending money and an emergency fund and feel on top of the world, even if it means being in debt an extra 6 months than I had planned.
  • catriona79 wrote: »
    Hi Starslimmer - lovely to see you again :j:j:j

    ...

    I have a vague idea about how to approach this subject. I may have to persevere with this (I know his personality by now and "if at first I don't succeed, I'll try and try again";) ), that's why I am going to mention it this weekend for the first time. I'm fully aware that he may feel strange when I ask him to sign it, but apart from the obvious protection (which I need, in light of his remark!) it is actually great for thinking through your finances when living together.

    Cheers, I think once he understands why your asking him to sign then Im sure he'd be alright with it. OH's dont like talking about what would happen if you break up. But its important so do keep trying. I read your living together link and then had a chat with OH yesterday. :j

    I think as you enter this stage of life you have certain expectations based on your parents' relationship or your earlier relationships and how money was shared and managed. I think you assume that's how it's going to be, when the other person's position may be different on it. So it will be good to sit down and talk this through.

    I was a bit concerned that he wants to redecorate and furnish his flat and have me pay half. We have different perspectives on paying for things. Im only just getting myself out of debt so the last thing I want to do is comitt myself financially to buying lots of new things (if it not broken I dont want to buy a new one). Hes never been in debt and only just got a credt card, so wants to put everything on a card and take out loans (I am working on a midde ground when it comes to money management).;)

    You say you're going to move in with bf for a couple of months. Is that only a temporary arrangement? What is in the pipeline for later?

    I eventually want us to get a place together and then split all the costs for example redecorating, new furnature or if needed new bathroom/kitchen. By then I will pay a % of what I make (but I want to clear that little bit of debt off first). But right now Id rather we both save up for a home together in the future.

    I think we've reached an agreement Id move in a pay 50% of bills and groceries while Im still sorting out debts and emergency savings. I havent talked to him about signing the agreement yet because I going to try nearer the time. :o

    If I explain why I dought he'd disagree. Although if we broke up I would just move out most of the stuff in the flat would be his so I wouldnt want it (Id just move back into my own furnished flat). I have all my letters at my parents address and my bills are online so I guess I would just pay up my half and go. :A


    Holiday Savings: [STRIKE]£100[/STRIKE] £200
    Credit Card: [STRIKE]£3,441[/STRIKE]/[STRIKE]£3341[/STRIKE]/[STRIKE]£2468.91 [/STRIKE]/ [STRIKE]£1785.19[/STRIKE] £1000:rotfl:
    Mortgage: £114,800


  • catriona79 wrote: »
    Thanks for that StarSlimmer. I'm trying to work it out so I can do the same thing. Following your example, I've now worked out my total bills and CC payments and deducted those from my income. Then set myself a budget for entertainment and clothes and food and then worked out how much I should transfer to savings.
    My DDs are already, wherever possible set to go out on 1st of each month (though some CCs won't commit to one single day) so, when I get paid next, I shall do that same thing and only leave in my acc what is necessary to get through the month. That way I will be able to see it decrease and if I.e. I overspend on going out, then there will be no money for clothes etc. fingers crossed I can stick to it! QUOTE]

    In the future I was going to use :money:Martin's Piggy bank accounts and set aside money for the following short term and long term financial goals. I have prepared a spreadsheet to use in the future. But I agree that having money for Girl mainanentce (Hair cut, waxing ect) would be handy or when you have an event to go to but have no money!

    Piggy Bank Accounts for;

    1 Christmas/Presents
    2 Savings & emergency fund
    3 Travel/Holidays
    4 Big purchases (kitchen 5000, bathroom 1000, car 3000, )
    5 Mortgage extra repayments


    Holiday Savings: [STRIKE]£100[/STRIKE] £200
    Credit Card: [STRIKE]£3,441[/STRIKE]/[STRIKE]£3341[/STRIKE]/[STRIKE]£2468.91 [/STRIKE]/ [STRIKE]£1785.19[/STRIKE] £1000:rotfl:
    Mortgage: £114,800


  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    dktreesea wrote: »
    Hi Catriona,

    I understand about the heating. I have had those moments over the winter, piling on the clothes instead of turning on heaters. But depriving yourself too much - warmth is a basis necessity, after all - in the name of the "pay off the debts as quickly as poosible" race, can be depressing.

    I started this year off well, but am now £700 in the whole more than at the beginning of the year. Just necessary bills I hadn't budgeted for, so not splurging as such, but it really got me down at the time.

    So now I pay myself first, generously, ahead of any of the debts.

    Plus I feed the emergency fund. I had been setting aside £20 a month for this, but have upped it to £50 a month. Even though it makes more financial sense to feed the credit cards and overdraft instead, I'd rather have spending money and an emergency fund and feel on top of the world, even if it means being in debt an extra 6 months than I had planned.

    Hi DK,

    Hope you had a good weekend? We had rain all weekend, but today my bf made an outstanding roast dinner and I made a lemon drizzle cake. Now sitting on sofa, relaxing before bed. I may start a new book too!

    I really can relate to what you said. I have done that before. Depriving myself completely only really works short term for me. I think I would be a shame to just be wishing my life away and surviving until the debt is repaid.
    I have to remember to have some nice times too. And give myself enough niceties (within reason) to be able to carry this on till the end of the pay off.

    I also agree about having an emergency fund. I started one this month, but will already have to dip into it for my birthday trip.
    The trip will leave me in the red, but when I get back I will get paid so that will be ok. But I do hate the anxiety of always being on the breadline.
    I heard someone on here say that it's not worth waiting till the end of the month to pay off debts with whatever is left over, that it never works. Maybe they are right, but psychologically it is difficult.

    I feel for you re your set back. Hope that it doesn't get you down too much. I understand what it's like. It great to see the numbers go down and it's tough, having worked hard and deprived yourself, to see that the impact isn't as big as you'd want it to be. But we will beat our debts, I know it! And if it takes a little longer, then that's fine too:) it's going to be alright:D

    Have a good evening :j
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
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